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Falklands Veterans Indulgence Flights Campaign

Today sees the end of the petition http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Falklandflights created to support our campaign for Indulgence Flights to the Falkland Islands fo veterans of the 1982 conflict.

The petition had just over 1,000 signatures and is unlikely to cause the government any sleepless nights. To maintain the initiative it would help if individuals could contavt their MP and ask them to support the issue.

To contact your MP use the link http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/ and enter your postcode. This brings up details of your MP, and includes a link to a form to send an email to your MP.

A suggested text (which may need editing to suit the sender);

Dear ,

As I am a veteran of the 1982 Falklands conflict, I am all too aware of the likelihood to wish to return to the Falklands on a pilgrimage.

It may be to lay to rest 'ghosts' as part of the process of coming to terms with PTSD (which inordinately affects Falklands veterans, more of whom have committed suicide than died in action) or a bereaved relative visiting the grave of a loved one for the first (and possibly only) time.

At present there are two travel options available for veterans, the RAF or civilian flights. The RAF make a one stop flight and this takes 20 hours, at a cost of £1169 + £20 airport tax. The civilian route is via Spain then Chile then Falklands, takes up to 3 days at a cost of £980.

Subsidised pilgrimages are available, but these are funded by charities on which there is already a substantial burden, and these are heavily subscribed by hopeful applicants.

An alternative would be to implement Indulgence Flights on the existing RAF air-bridge, which is currently three flights per fortnight, and is under-utilised. This would make independent pilgrimages possible to more veterans, which would in turn reduce the applications made to charities such as SAMA 82, allowing them to fund pilgrimages for the more needy applicants.

Your support as an active MP would be most welcome.

Yours sincerely,

The support of ARRSE members is sought please. There is no end date for this campaign as yet, and if you could contact your own MP it would be greatly appreciated. Similarly if you could ask friends, family and colleagues to write to their MP, we may actually get somewhere with this.
smudge67 said:
Surely there must be spare room on some of the trooping flights?
I cannot state categorically, as I have been out too long, but it is the empty seats we hope to release to Indulgence Flights. Maybe some ARRSEr who has recently served either in FI or the UK airhead could answer as to any spare capacity?.
Bump. Would you please write to your MP asking them to support this campaign.

During the recent pilgrimage two mothers, whose sons died on Mt Longdon with 3 Para, made the emotional jouney back for the first time. Had Indulgence Flights been available it may not have taken 25 years for them to make the journey.

Many thanks.

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